Mike Pence says looking back, the Trump Administration could have done a “better job” of controlling domestic spending, particularly on things not related to rebuilding the U.S. military and COVID-19 relief.
The former vice president and GOP hopeful held a town hall meeting Wednesday on NewsNation, where moderator Leland Vittert asked him about a broad range of topics – including runaway inflation.
“Economists will say that when you look at the root cause of inflation, it is enormous amount of government spending,” Vittert said, noting the $3.4 billion figure attributed to the Trump-Pence administration’s four years that has dogged the Republican Party’s talking points this election cycle.
“Does your former administration bear any responsibility for the inflation that is existing today because of that spending?” Vittert asked.
“Well, [high inflation] didn’t exist during our administration,” Pence said. “It was pacing at a very reasonable pace. … it wasn’t until Joe Biden became president with a Democratic congress that they they passed a $2 trillion dollars spending bill, all in the name of Covid, that was completely unnecessary.”
“So you’re OK with that $3.4 trillion you spent?” Vittert continued.
“People that know my record in congress and as governor know I’m a pretty tight-fisted fiscal conservative,” Pence replied. “I think we could have done a better job control domestic spending in this country.”
But Pence defended a large swath of that domestic spending:
“I stand by what we did to rebuild our military after years of reckless budget cutbacks of the Obama administration that were harming our military readiness and preparedness, and frankly the money that we spent during Covid for families and for businesses to see us through the worst pandemic in 100 years. I thought it was necessary. But in between those things, I’ll stipulate to that – we could have done a better job.”
Watch the entire exchange in the video above.